Around this time of year, university results start to come out. So for those of you who do have your latest results, how do you feel? Maybe you’re really happy with what you’ve achieved. But, maybe, you’re feeling a little disappointment in your university grades and know you need to do better.

You might have walked out of your exams feeling nervous but quietly confident that you did OK. Or you might have handed in your final essays and felt relieved but satisfied with what you submitted.

So, it can feel like such a slap in the face when you don't get the mark your hard work deserves. You probably feel a bit deflated and you might even be wondering if you should continue.

I want to help you with this blog post. I’ve created a 3 step process to help you deal with disappointment in your university grades.

In this blog post you’ll discover:

  • Why you don’t have to brush your feelings under the carpet
  • How to learn from your mistakes – the only true failure is the one from which we learn nothing
  • How to reflect on your performance and set yourself up for success in the future
  • How to separate yourself from your grades and build your study confidence back up.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

1. Allow yourself to feel disappointment in your university grades

First, you need to allow yourself to feel disappointed and hurt. You know that you need to build yourself back up and keep going, but you don’t have to do this straight away. When I went through a crappy break up I did a classic Bridget Jones. I sat on the sofa, ate ice cream, watched The Notebook and felt sorry for myself.

If you need to, spend a few days accepting that you feel disappointment in your university grades. You’re allowed to feel upset with your results. You don’t need to shrug it off and pretend you’re fine if you’re not. The fact that you’re feeling a little hurt means you really care about your studies. This dedication is a good thing, I promise. Acceptance is an important stage so don’t try to push down what you’re feeling.

2. Work out what happened and how you can improve

When you’re ready, it’s time to work out where you might have lost marks or not met the requirements for an essay or exam.

It’s a difficult task to confront your mistakes or weaknesses. It can be a lot easier to go just go and hide in a big hole after a failure or mistake.

The real failure is the one from which we learn nothing – John Powell

This quote sounds like a cliché but it really is true. Making mistakes is part of everyday life and not something you should ever apologise or for guilty for.

But making the same mistake a second time, when it could have been prevented, is the real failure. Making mistakes throughout university is inevitable if you’re challenging yourself. But if you lose marks multiple times for the same errors, you need to work on accepting and tackling the reasons behind the mistake.

This is where feedback and reflection is vital.

First, reflect on your own study performance. Spend 10 minutes or so thinking about and writing down where or how you could study differently.

To help you, here’s some questions for you to answer (and some blog posts that might help):

· Do you struggle to stay motivated? Why are you studying? What are you hoping to achieve? (How to stay motivated throughout your studies and what to do when you don’t feel like studying)

· Do you procrastinate? If so, what are your reasons for procrastinating? (How to overcome studying procrastination)

· Is your note taking method effective? Do your notes help you write essays and revise for exams? (Choose the right note taking method and note taking mistakes to avoid)

· Are your essays criticised for poor academic writing or lack of critical thinking? Are your arguments unclear or confusing? (Academic writing tips, how to improve your critical thinking skills, and how to overcome the blank page)

· Do you spend enough time revising? Are you using the best methods to prepare you for your exams? (Revision mistakes, flashcard tips, and exam mindset advice)

Next, create a habit of seeking and tracking your assignment feedback.

In my second year of university I found myself stuck. My grades weren’t improving. So I decided to start recording my tutor feedback for each essay.

After every essay, spend 5-10 minutes picking out the positive and negative points in your feedback. When you start writing your next essay, check these to make sure you continue doing the good stuff, and that you take action to improve your weak areas and not make the same mistakes again.

3. Build yourself back up

So you’ve allowed yourself to really feel the disappointment in your university grades, and you’ve grabbed my system for tracking feedback so you can improve in certain areas. But that might not mean you’re ready to jump back into studying. You probably feel like you’d rather just give up and not try again.

I completely understand this lethargy. Whenever I received results I wasn’t happy with I found it hard to shake off the disappointment. But there’s some important points to try and remember.

Achieving a university degree is a long and difficult journey. If it was easy, everyone would have done it. You will hit bumps in the road that make you falter. But it’s important to move forward and not turn back.

Just because you have failed does not mean YOU are a failure.

You are not your mistake or your failure. You are a student who is working hard and challenging yourself to do well. You’re studying for a reason so try to focus on this.

I believe small tweaks can have big results.

You may feel like you’ll never gain more than a few marks, but this doesn’t have to be true. I’ve worked with students who’ve jumped entire grades in a short time of my coaching.

So take a few days to accept your disappointment in your university grades, then promise yourself you’ll move forward. Even it you have to walk on shaky legs and you still doubt yourself at times.

You CAN do this. And I’m here to help.

If you’ve found this post helpful, please consider sharing it.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

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